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After becoming proficient in the art of magic, he toured America, Europe and Australia, which he had first visited in 1892. He was one of several famous magicians who added films to their repertoires during the early years of cinematography.
He sailed from England on 28 March 1896 aboard the Royal Mail Steamer Norman and during the voyage exhibited Robert William Paul's Theatrograph to the passengers.
He published his autobiography in 1924, Modern Mystery Merchant; The Trials, Tricks and Travels of Carl Hertz, the Famous American Illusionist.
His act included:
- "Aerolithe" illusion, involving a girl dancing on air - a court case was brought that accused him of stealing it from a German magician.
- "Phoenix" illusion. His wife entered a furnace and emerged unscathed.
- vanishing bird cage. He was actually summoned to the British House of Commons on August 2, 1921 to prove that his act did not harm the birds. He performed the trick for them, then produced the unharmed bird.